The ‘second wave’? A tale of two cities

6 July 2020

Here in Sydney, life has returned to some sort of post-COVID normality. As of 1 July the economy has officially re-opened, albeit with physical distancing measures in place. I’ve even managed to secure employment again after my COVID-induced hiatus.

Marketing agency in Manly = blazer and chino combo. No collars in sight.

But all is not well…

Melbourne – Australia’s second most populous and fastest-growing city – is in a bad way. Coronavirus cases have escalated over the past 10 days and much of the state is facing a second lock down.

The recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Melbourne is disappointing and worrying, but we always expected more cases – the virus is still with us after all. It is an important reminder for the whole country and it is vital we learn the lessons from these spikes, or we risk seeing many more cases and deaths across Australia.

Although it may feel otherwise, we are not at a stage where we can go back to living our lives the way we did before Australia had the pandemic. The spike in Victoria shows just how easy it is for outbreaks to occur if we don’t continue to practise physical distancing and good hygiene, and stay at home when sick.

Here in Sydney we’re worried. The ‘second wave’ is starting in Melbourne, but it could just as easily be Sydney.

It could be worse

Compared to some other countries, we are in a fortunate position here in Australia. Cases are still relatively low, the mortality rate in Australia from the virus is one of the lowest globally and our government continues to be decisive in tackling the virus – from both a heath service and economic perspective.

But with 11.5 million cases globally, the virus is spreading faster than ever. Yet several countries – including the USA and my dear home the UK – are loosening their restrictions.

My two cents – it’s too early for this. Humans are inherently social animals and COVID-19 is reliant on people interacting to survive. In my humble opinion giving people the freedom to socialise en mass encourages the ignorant in society to be irresponsible and this has the potential to affect us all.

Ultimately scenes like this in the UK*…

…combined with numbers like this…

…will result in this. Another wave of infections, thousands of avoidable deaths, further lock downs and another economic downturn. It’s inevitable.

*I’m fully aware the UK is not alone in loosening restrictions despite high infection rates. But this is my primary concern as many of my friends and family reside here.

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